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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Hardwell will return to Rio de Janeiro to perform on the final night of the Rio Music Carnival festival on February 9th. The Dutch DJ and producer, well known for his EDM, big room and progressive house sounds, recently took a moment to speak with The Rio Times via email about his career and his thoughts on his upcoming show.

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Hardwell will headline the closing night of the 2016 Rio Music Carnival on February 9th, photo by Gerard Henninger/press image.

Part of the Rio Music Conference, the Rio Music Carnival will run concurrently with the main celebrations of Carnival on February 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. DJ Hardwell will headline the final night of the festival.

The twenty-eight-year-old Hardwell is no stranger to Rio de Janeiro, performing here last in December of 2014 as part of his Go Hardwell or Go Home tour.

When asked his thoughts about returning to Rio and the RMC Hardwell said, “Well I think the first thing any DJ notices when they play to a Brazilian crowd is they’re really not shy, they love to party and really love to get into the vibe of the music. I’ve had so many spine-tingling moments behind the decks playing in the country that whenever I see Brazil listed in my tour sheet, I get really excited.”

“The country is so rich in culture and passion,” Hardwell added. “I love coming over and experiencing the food, meeting people and just embracing the spirit of it all.”

“Rio Music Carnival is world-renowned so to be a part of that means a lot to me, it’s an honor to share my music at such a special occasion,” Hardwell continued. “Equally, Rio Music Conference is a key part of the country’s nightlife scene, it’s a doorway for many of us from outside of the country and it’s a big platform for those from Brazilian clubbing scene, both industry people and the clubbers themselves.”

Born Robbert van de Corput in Breda, Netherlands, Hardwell entered the industry at a youth age. By the time he was twenty-five, he was voted the number one DJ in the world, becoming the youngest ever DJ to take the number one spot on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs Poll.

“I started out really early. I was 13 and after watching a documentary on MTV about Dutch dance music I wanted to be a part of it and explore more about the music and DJ’s,” said Hardwell. “Guys like Tiësto and Ferry Corsten inspired me at that early age to learn more about the music coming out of Holland and other countries around the world.”

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Hardwell performing at the 2015 Spring Awakening Music Festival in Chicago, United States, photo by swimfinfan/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Hardwell first gained worldwide attention in 2009 through the release of his single “Show Me Love vs. Be”. He would go on to build his fanbase through singles that included to “Dare You”, “Young Again”, “Encoded”, “Cobra,” and “Follow Me”, among others and through his extensive touring and highly acclaimed live sets at major festivals.

In 2010, Hardwell created his own label, Revealed Recordings. Focusing mainly on the genres of big room, dance, progressive and electro house, the label, headquartered in Breda, Netherlands, includes artists Kill the Buzz, Julian Calor, Manse, and Thomas Newson, among others.

In 2013, Hardwell released “I AM HARDWELL,” a documentary film that gives an inside look into Hardwell’s live performances and his rise to fame. Additionally in January of 2013, Hardwell released his debut solo album United We Are.

When asked about the differences between producing an album compared to structuring a set, Hardwell said; “Well, United We Are was my first artist album. It was a long journey but one in which I definitely matured as a producer, as well as a DJ. I got a chance to work with some incredible artists that included Jason Derulo, Mr Probz, W&W and Fatman Scoop.”

“My plan with the album was to showcase all sides of me as an artist and I feel I really had the chance to do it with this release. So naturally I was really happy when it went #2 in the worldwide iTunes album chart. Structuring a set to an album is very different because you’re building for the crowd in a live environment, whereas an album is a studio setting so it’s a more fixed in place.”

Hardwell is well known for his collaborations. In addition to the artists he worked with on United We Are, Hardwell has worked with Jason Fedde Le Grande, Bob Sinclar, Laidback Luke, and Nicky Romero, among others. He is currently promoting his new single “Hollywood“, which is a collaboration with Afrojack

“I have a lot of new music coming up which I think the fans are going to love and they can look forward to some very special tracks from me too,” said Hardwell who will continue to tour the world with the I AM Hardwell – United We Are tour following the Rio de Janeiro show on the 9th, “it’s going to be a very busy summer for me this year.”

When asked what he loved about performing live, Hardwell said; “I love the opportunity you have as an artist to share your music with different people from all walks of life. Each crowd is so different and getting to meet the fans from different countries really gives you a chance to understand the people who support your music. It means a lot to me to actually meet the fans in person and place my music to them in person. The buzz I get from playing to a crowd, sharing the experience of performing is something that I’ll never lose; it’s an amazing experience and why I love DJing so much.”

What: Hardwell at the Rio Music Carnival
When: Hardwell show – February 9th. Festival Rio Music Carnival – February 5th through February 9th, Rio Music Conference – January 27th through February 9th.
Where: Festival Rio Music Carnival, Av Infante Dom Henrique, s/n Marina da Glória.
Entrance: R$90 + for Rio Music Carnival shows. Packages are available. See more information on the website and here for the Rio Music Carnival.

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